Even the wealthy can have trouble managing their bills
While working on a magazine article I recently learned about FreyerMartin, a bill paying service that pays and manages consumers' bills. My initial thought was, "This could make an interesting story for WalletPop."
So that's what I'm doing. Just putting the information out there. If it's helpful, great.
FreyerMartin was created in 2003 by Carla Morelli, shortly after she woke up at 2 a.m., realizing she had forgotten to make her car payment. She knew she should have known better. She was the president of an IT company, not exactly a slacker. But she kept forgetting to pay critical bills, and suddenly an idea for a business was born.
The idea being that FreyerMartin won't just pay bills -- they'll manage the bills. As in, if your utility company has overcharged you, FreyerMartin will notice it and call the utility company for you and work things out. If there's odd behavior on your credit card, they'll look into that. In fact, they receive the bills, so in theory, you could never have to pay or look at another bill again.
So here's the gist of what I know. According to Morelli, the typical client's income starts around $110,000 for a single person and $200,000 for an entire family.
The service costs $250 a month and can go as high as $2,000 a month (think the person who has multiple homes, has a yacht to pay for, and so on).
And Morelli actually makes a pretty good argument that her service does save the affluent money.
"Anyone with a reasonable metropolitan income effectively pays less in a given month, since we eliminate those late fees and finance charges" that come when you're paying bills late, says Morelli. "When you consider that late fees are often at least $40 a pop, it doesn't take much to get there, especially when the 'trade off' is gaining a dedicated resource who watches your back."